In this fast paced world, where there can be multiple things (or children) screaming for your attention at the one time, it’s crucial to reach out for help if and when you need it.
Nearly two years ago, I was actually so miserable, disconnected and feeling alone, that I took steps to leave this earth. I fervently believed that death had to be easier than what I was experiencing here and that my children would somehow be okay without me. Madness? Yes, I see that now.
As a write this, I’m wondering if any of you will now be condemning me as a mother and declaring me not worthy of having children.
So what happened? Did I change my mind? Not really. Let’s just say that the universe intervened and I realised that my place is here, alongside my beautiful kids.
You might also be asking if I actually love my children? The answer is an unequivocal, “Yes”. I love them with every fibre of my being and they know that.
So how could I contemplate leaving them? I actually thought they might be better off with a new mum. A mum who wasn’t tired much of the time, cranky and lost.
Thank goodness I am no longer in that same fragile state. Yeah, I still get tired and cranky but I no longer feel that life is just too hard to bear.
I’m actually nervous about posting this piece. I’ve only told one friend and two practitioners about that ever so dark blip in my mothering journey but I feel I have an important message to share.
I get it that everyone has personal challenges and that life is really busy for them. But for someone to contemplate checking out there must have been outward signs. Do I have good, close friends and family? Absolutely. And did I talk to them about all of this? Not entirely.
Sure some people knew I was not in a happy space but I actually did not want to trouble my two closest friends, with the absolute seriousness of what was going on. I figured that they had enough to worry about.
So what is my message? I’m asking you, if you’ve read this far, to look around your own group of family and friends. See if there’s anyone who might need some help, a break or an ear to bend. Don’t just dismiss them as someone who is down and not much fun to be around.
For goodness sake, reach out to them. And I don’t mean by text. And please don’t ask a parent how they are feeling in front of their children (people are very good at putting on a brave face).
Go out for a coffee and talk face to face. And if you feel inclined to help in some way, don’t just ask, “Is there anything I can do?” If you see that they are not coping in some way and may need a break, INSIST on them accepting your helping. Make it easy for them to say yes.
I’m actually blown away by the absolute kindness of a new school friend (another sole parent) who has offered to mind my kids for an upcoming weekend. My first reaction was that I couldn’t possibly do this but she was quite clear that I had no choice. “You WILL be having a weekend off. And I WILL nag you until you choose a date.” Bless her.
This will be my second weekend off without the kids, for fun and not study, in nearly 10 years. Hallelujah. I am feeling very, very lucky, supported, grateful and blessed. And I’m looking forward to either returning the favour or paying it forward.
This seems a bit trite to tack on the end of this piece but if you are feeling that life is just too hard, please take the step to talk to someone about it. I actually chose, the non-medication route but if that is what you need please go and talk to your doctor. There is no shame in saying that you need help. It actually takes more courage to admit that you need it. You might also like to check out Beyond Blue at https://www.beyondblue.org.au.
For me, kinesiology helped enormously. If you called to work with me, please feel free to phone me for a confidential and extremely non-judgemental chat. I have stood where you are standing and I’m so happy to say I have not only survived but am now beginning to thrive.